Monday, March 24, 2014

Algoa Bay Bell Buoy

About three years ago I dug up the info below on the Algoa Bay Bell Buoy and created a post to keep it in until I get a picture of the buoy.  The problem is that the Bell Buoy is about 2,5 kilometers out to sea and its not like I'm just going to just strap my camera to my back and take a swim out there.  Cruising along the beachfront on The Jester last night we had perfect weather and they sailed around the Bell Buoy before heading back towards the harbor.  I could barely contain my excitement at being able to finally snap a pic for the post.

In 1797 Lt William McPherson Rice charted a submerged reef approximately 1½ nautical miles off shore, north of Cape Recife.  He named it Dispatch Rock and noted that it lies only 3m below the surface at low tide. This rock was a peril to many a ship and in 1838 a lit marker buoy was anchored over the reef, but it was soon washed away.  In 1843 another buoy was placed and an official notification was placed in then Government Gazette naming it Roman Rock.
Today an East Cardinal marker buoy warns ships to pass on the eastern side.  At night a flashing light marks the location of the reef.  There is of course a bell on this buoy to warn ships when fog rolls into Algoa Bay, hence the name Bell Buoy.

This reef is known as Roman Rocks due to the large number of red roman fish that are found here.  The extensive reef is made up of gullies and pinnacles and is teeming with fish, soft corals, feather stars, starfish, sea fans and anemones.  It's a very popular dive site amongst scuba divers due to its close proximity to Hobie Beach. 
Bell Buoy is also the turning point of the Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy Challenge, a 5 km (and one of the toughest in the world) ocean swim. 


  1. Nice photo, and I can understand your excitement. I've done the same thing myself and kept bad photos as a reminder to get a better one!

  2. Do you know what the gps coordinates are for this bouy?